Compression Therapy – What is it and Does it Work?

I met a few cool people from MDR Sports, located in Marina Del Rey at the Strava “Run Your Fastest Mile” event this year. The last time I probably did any form of recovery treatment was probably in high school when I was forced into regular ice baths for cross country training, so let’s just say it was never necessarily a priority for me – until I started training for my full marathon.

So you get an idea of what my training regimen has looked like, I’ve basically just been doing Flywheel since January with sporadic running and weight lifting in between. I started training for my marathon three weeks ago, and I am currently teaching 10-13 classes a week and incorporating 4 days of running into my schedule. Because I had been so cycling heavy, my hamstrings have been kind of neglected – you have to consciously pull up while you ride to activate them. After my tempo run two weeks ago, my hamstrings were so knotted. I rolled them out but it was still slightly torturous. It felt like they were trying to keep up with my quads and failed miserably.

Anyway, it was Wednesday and I had to teach 3 Flywheel classes the next day, so I called my friends at MDR Sports – Performance and Recovery to check out all the hype around the NormaTec Compression Therapy. They claim that “our systems are dynamic compression devices designed for recovery and performance by using compressed air to massage your limbs, mobilize fluid and reduce recovery time.” This compression treatment promotes blood flow to reduce lactic acid buildup.

The facility is open-format with multiple chairs for compression treatment and plenty of space and tools to stretch and roll out afterwards. I did two 20-minute sessions, one on my hips and upper legs and the other in my full legs. They both felt amazingly relaxing, although the hip one targeted my hamstrings more and it was definitely not too comfortable at certain pressure points. When I finished my treatment, the owner, Harry did some mobility assessments on me and talked to be a bit about imbalances in my body. I walked out of there with a feeling of lightness in my legs and a general optimism about how my classes were going to feel the next day.

I have to say that this treatment did substantially reduce soreness as it claims to, and that it is a very amazing way to treat yo’self and relax after a great workout. It’s also an amazing time to have a great conversation with fellow athletes. If you are in the Los Angeles area I would definitely check out MDR sports. If not, the name to look for is NormaTec Compression Therapy, as there are many individual facilities that carry similar services throughout the U.S. and internationally.

For more information on NormaTec Compression Therapy or MDR Sports, be sure to follow them on Instagram @MDRsports & @NTrecovery.

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